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Product defect injury claims may be easier to prove than others

2014 was a record year for auto product recalls due to defects. According to the news reports, recalls in a single year went over the 60 million mark for the first time ever. Some analysts suggest the reason for the massive number is that companies are acting defensively.

Facing increased pressure from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Automakers like General Motors are moving much faster and more broadly to issue recalls when flaws are discovered. Considering that GM failed to take action for years to correct known faults with one of their ignition switches, Texas readers might be forgiven if they react somewhat cynically to the stepped up recalls.

Regulator pressure may be only one factor contributing to why companies are moving more quickly when defects are uncovered. Another may well be that special rules and legal arguments have been developed that may make it easier for plaintiffs to seek and obtain compensation for injuries due to dangerous or defective products.

Depending on the laws of the state, the basis of a defective product suit could be one of several types; negligence, breach of warranty or strict liability. Let's look at the theory of strict liability in a little more detail.

A claim under strict liability argues that the injured person is due compensation from the maker of a defective product or, in some cases, the business that sold or rented it to the consumer.

Under this theory, negligence or carelessness doesn't necessarily have to be shown, only that the product was dangerous to begin with, in design, how it was made or handled and shipped. Other conditions for a successful strict liability claim include showing that the injury occurred while the product was being used as intended and that its design and function hadn't been "substantially" altered since it was purchased.

Special rules don't mean a defective products suit is a slam-dunk. To test the viability of a case, consult with an experienced attorney. 

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